10 Tips for Successful Budgeting: How to Stay on Track with Your Finances

10 Tips for Successful Budgeting: How to Stay on Track with Your Finances

Do you need help staying on track with your financial goals? In this post, we’ll provide 10 top tips for successful budgeting to help you prioritize spending, track expenses, and save money to achieve financial freedom.

  1. Set realistic goals: When creating your budget, set achievable and realistic goals. This will help you stay motivated and avoid feeling discouraged.
  2. Track your spending: To create an accurate budget, you need to track your spending. Use a budgeting app or a spreadsheet to record your expenses and see where your money goes.
  3. Prioritize your spending: Identify your needs and wants and prioritize your spending accordingly. This will help you avoid overspending on unnecessary expenses.
  4. Make adjustments: Your budget is not set in stone. Review your budget regularly and adjust as needed to stay on track with your goals.
  5. Include savings in your budget: Saving should be a part of your budget. Set aside a portion of your income each month for savings or investments.
  6. Avoid unnecessary expenses: Cut back on expenses that are not essential, such as dining out or subscriptions you don’t use.
  7. Use cash for discretionary spending: To avoid overspending, consider using cash or debit for discretionary spending, like entertainment or clothing.
  8. Don’t forget about irregular expenses: Budget for irregular expenses, such as car repairs or medical bills, by setting aside a portion of your monthly income.
  9. Stay motivated: It can be challenging to stick to a budget, but staying motivated can help. Celebrate your successes and remind yourself of your financial goals.
  10. Involve your family: If you have a family, involve them in budgeting. This can help everyone stay on the same page and work together towards shared financial goals.

Conclusion 

 

In conclusion, budgeting is crucial for achieving financial freedom. By implementing the 10 top tips for successful budgeting we’ve provided, you can prioritize spending, track expenses, and save money to reach your financial goals. Remember to review and adjust your budget to stay on track regularly. With persistence and effort, budgeting can become a daily routine and lead to a brighter financial future.

How Does ADHD Affect Money Management

How Does ADHD Affect Money Management

Introduction 

Since Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) affects focus, it can make it difficult to manage money. Individuals with ADHD may struggle to stay organized and pay bills on time, and they may also be prone to make more impulse purchases. All of these struggles can lead to financial difficulties. However there are ways to manage money while living with ADHD, but it takes effort and patience.

How do people with ADHD handle money? An Example:

 

I have a good friend who has ADHD. She received her diagnosis when she was in her 40s but has dealt with the symptoms as best she could throughout her life.  

She decided to take a gap year when she finished high school to save up for university. She was working and making decent money. She would dutifully put her pay in your checking account, but she would often forget to put her money aside into her savings account. She said, “In my head, I had lots of time to save for school since it was a whole year away.”  

Weeks before she was about to start school, she found herself applying for a loan. The money she was to have saved was non-existent. She never felt the passage of time, never felt the urgency to save, and never had systems in place to ensure some of each paycheck ended up in savings.

She said she never felt like she was spending a lot, but little by little, all the money she made during her gap year got used up. Those money management challenges followed her through university, where she received her first credit card. She couldn’t pay her bills on time, which damaged her credit score.

 Seeing her bills coming in and being unable to pay for everything caused her to feel overwhelmed and anxious, ultimately negatively affecting her confidence and self-esteem. 

What is ADHD?

 

Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is a neurodevelopmental disorder. It affects approximately 5-9% of school-aged children. Children with ADHD have difficulty paying attention, staying organized, and focusing on tasks. They often have trouble controlling their behavior and tend to be impulsive. ADHD can significantly impact a child’s life and ability to succeed in school. Treatment options include medication, therapy, or a combination of both.

While ADHD is most commonly diagnosed in children, it can also occur in adults. Approximately 2-5% of the adult population has ADHD, with symptoms similar to that of children. 

People with ADHD often have problems with executive functions, which are cognitive skills that help control attention, planning, organizing, problem-solving, and self-regulation. Many of these skills are necessary for the overall management of money, making money management a particular challenge for folks with ADHD.

Shopaholic overspending

Some of the Challenges

 

Due to the challenges people with ADHD have with executive functions managing different aspects of their financial lives can be challenging.  

Some financial challenges that people with ADHD may experience include

  •        Overspending
  •        Impulse spending
  •       Difficult planning and organizing
  •       Setting and reaching financial goals
  •       Budgeting and sticking with a budget. 

 

These financial challenges can lead to an increase in:

  • Stress
  • Feel overwhelmed by finances
  • High emotional states can lead to poor decisions
  • Stress and anxiety can lead to leaving it and letting it get worse
  • Can hurt self-coincidence/insecurities
Creating budget plan

What are some things you can do to help

 

First, if you think you may have ADHD speak to your doctor

If you have ADHD, here are a few things you can do to help manage your money management

If impulse spending or overspending is an issue, add some friction.

Take credit cards out of online shopping carts, or create a rule for yourself to wait for 24hrs or longer before you buy anything. Here are some other tips for controlling impulse spending

Building a budget that works for you is critical, but you need it to be simple.

Using money management apps can help remove some of the complexity of managing your money. They can also help to add a visual aspect to help you better understand where your money is going.

Automation can reduce the organization, planning, and decision-making needed to manage your money.

Adding visuals to help you see your saving and spending can be a powerful tool for folks with ADHD. 

Create an emergency fund to help manage unexpected expenses. ADHD can cause you to have late fees or other costs that you can not plan for in your budget. Having an emergency fund to act as a buffer will help.

A certified financial planner can help you build budgets, set goals, and ensure you have a plan to reach your aspirations while still giving you the autonomy and control to manage your finances. 

For more tips on managing your money with ADHD, click here.

Conclusion

 

 ADHD can have a significant impact on money management. Lack of interest, poor organization, and difficulty planning and deciding can all lead to financial problems, such as spending too much money, not saving enough, or appropriately planning for the future. Therefore, people with ADHD need to develop strategies for managing their finances. It is also crucial for those in a position to help, provide support. 

With proper strategies in place, people with ADHD can manage their money effectively and successfully. 

 

Top 10 Allowance Mistakes Parents Make & How to Avoid Them

Happy family on coach

Top 10 Allowance Mistakes Parents Make & How to Avoid Them

Allowances are a great way to teach kids about money management, but parents often make mistakes when giving allowances to their children. Here are the top ten allowance mistakes parents make and how to avoid them:

Not discussing money management

 

Parents may make the mistake of not discussing money management with their children. Even with an allowance, this can lead to a fragmented financial education.

Solution: Use allowances as opportunities to discuss saving, spending, and budgeting with your child.

Tying allowance to chores

 

Some parents make the mistake of tying allowance to chores, leading to a lack of intrinsic motivation and an expectation for payment. Unfortunately, you may also fall into the pay-for-chore trap.

Solution: Consider giving a base allowance so that your child has access to money to practice financial literacy habits. 

Not being consistent

 

Parents may be inconsistent when giving allowances. Doing so will prevent your child from being able to save and budget since they will not have a consistent source of funds. This could lead to more impulsive buying habits or, on the flip side, hoarding of money since they are unsure when they may get more.

Solution: Be consistent with giving allowances and follow through on any agreements or expectations.

Not setting clear guidelines

 

Parents often make the mistake of not setting clear guidelines for what allowances can be used for. This can lead to confusion and misunderstandings.

Solution: Set clear guidelines for what it can and cannot be used for and be firm.

Exerting too much control

 

Parents often make the mistake of trying to control what their child does with their money. Unfortunately, this can minimize what your child can learn from their allowance.

Solution: Set some guidelines for what allowances can be used for but do not be too prescriptive and allow your child to have as much autonomy as possible with their money.

Not allowing mistakes 

 

Parents often make the mistake of not allowing their children to make mistakes with their allowance, leading to a lack of learning opportunities.

Solution: Allow your child to make mistakes with their allowance and use it as a teaching opportunity to help them learn from their decisions. “Mistakes” are great conversation starters.

Giving too much or too little

 

Parents can find it challenging to find the right balance between giving too much or too little allowance. This can either prevent a child from having to save or delay gratification or struggle too much to save and get frustrated.

Solution: Determine an appropriate amount based on your child’s age and the family’s financial situation. Reevaluate the allowance periodically to ensure it remains appropriate. And if necessary and appropriate, encourage your child to find side hustles to earn more.

Financial conflict of girl and mother

Withholding allowance as punishment

 

Some parents may make the mistake of withholding allowance as a punishment. Unfortunately, doing so removes the opportunity for the child to learn how to manage money. And can also minimize a child’s ability to save and budget with an unreliable source of funds.

Solution: Use alternative forms of discipline that do not involve withholding allowance.

Giving in to demands

 

Parents may make the mistake of giving in to their child’s demands for more allowance. 

Solution: Manage expectations by letting your child know when their allowance will be raised and by how much. Birthdays are good milestones for raises in allowances.

Not modeling good financial habits

 

Parents may make the mistake of not modeling good financial habits, leading to confusion and undermining the financial education you are trying to provide.

Solution: Practice good financial habits and involve your child in age-appropriate financial decisions and discussions to help them learn by example.

Conclusion

 

In conclusion, allowances can be a valuable tool for teaching children about money management. But it’s essential to pair the allowance with discussions and to avoid some of these common mistakes. Manage expectations by defining clear guidelines for the allowance, but allow your child to control their money and make mistakes. By doing so, parents can help their children develop financial literacy and make informed decisions about their money.

Building a Healthy Relationship with Money: Tips and Strategies

Man Counting Money

Building a Healthy Relationship with Money: Tips and Strategies

Money can be a source of immense stress and anxiety for many people. The constant fear of not having enough, the pressure to keep up with society’s standards, and the burden of accumulating debt can take a toll on one’s mental and emotional well-being. Building a healthy relationship with money is crucial not only for your financial success but also for your overall happiness and fulfillment. It’s time to take control of your finances and learn how to transform your mindset toward money.

So, how can you build a healthy relationship with money? Here are some tips to get you started:

Understand your beliefs and values surrounding money.

 

Your beliefs and values about money play a significant role in how you manage it. Take some time to reflect on what you believe about money and where those beliefs come from. Are they rooted in fear, scarcity, or abundance? Once you understand your beliefs, you can start to shift them towards a more positive mindset.

Set financial goals

 

Setting financial goals can give you direction and purpose regarding your finances. For example, do you want to save for a down payment on a house, pay off debt, or start a retirement fund? Identify your goals and break them down into achievable steps. This will give you a clear roadmap to follow and help you stay on track.

Create a budget

 

Creating a budget is essential in building a healthy relationship with money. A budget helps you track your spending, identify areas where you can cut back, and allocate your money toward your financial goals. Be honest with yourself about your spending habits and make adjustments as necessary.

Woman smiling while looking at her phone

Practice gratitude

Gratitude is a powerful tool for building a positive relationship with money. Instead of focusing on what you don’t have, focus on what you do have. Take time to appreciate the things in your life that money can’t buy, like relationships, experiences, and good health.

Educate yourself

 

Financial literacy is crucial when building a healthy relationship with money. Take the time to educate yourself on personal finance topics like investing, budgeting, and debt. This knowledge will empower you to make informed decisions and take control of your finances.

Conclusion 

 
In conclusion, building a healthy relationship with money takes time and effort, but it’s worth it. By understanding your beliefs and values, setting financial goals, creating a budget, practicing gratitude, and educating yourself, you can build a positive relationship with money that will serve you well for years.

How do you manage money when you have ADHD?

Frustrated Woman Looking at Computer

How do you manage money when you have ADHD?

ADHD and money management

ADHD can make it hard to manage your money. Managing money requires many executive functioning skills like organization, decision making, and planning, all of which can be a particular challenge for people with ADHD. ADHD can affect everyone in different ways, so it is important for you to determine how your ADHD affects you and put systems in place to help you manage your money.

 

In this article, I will provide tips to help you manage your money better with ADHD.

Why is Money Management Hard for people with ADHD?

 

Money management can be challenging for anyone, but it can become especially difficult when you add ADHD into the mix. One of the biggest challenges can be a lack of interest in money management tasks.  

People with ADHD tend to focus on tasks of interest and avoid things that do not bring them the “dopamine hit” we all get when we do something we enjoy. Unfortunately, this can lead to bills not being paid, goals not being set, and money not being managed.

Avoiding essential tasks can quickly spiral out of control when things pile up.  Piles of to-dos can quickly become overwhelming, leading to further crises.

Perhaps you are avoiding such tasks because

  • You may not know how to start
  • That pile will take forever to get through
  • You don’t remember exactly what you are supposed to do to complete each task perfectly
  • You don’t want to take the time to do it
  • You feel like you shouldn’t have to do that stuff anyway

So you miss essential tasks, bills don’t get paid, and you may find yourself spending more, falling further behind, and feeling stressed, anxious, and doubting yourself.

Other symptoms of ADHD can also make it harder to manage money.

  • Impulsivity can sometimes lead to poor financial choices
  • Lack of object permanence (i.e. out of sight out of mind) can make it hard to manage budgets and balances.
  • Time blindness (i.e. difficulting sensing the passage of time)  can make it challenging to pay bills on time or save for long-term goals and plan for the future.
Woman with financial problems

Money Management Tips For ADHD Adults

 

Automate your money
Automating transactions can help you avoid remembering, organizing, planning, and deciding what to do with your money when you would instead focus on something more interesting.

Automate your bill payments – Avoid having to remember to pay bills by setting automatic bill payments or direct withdrawal for as many bills as possible.

Automate savings. – Setup reoccurring transfers to put money into saving accounts, spending allowance accounts, and long-term savings

Use Apps – Use money management apps to track spending and to build and stick to budgets. You can use Apps and services like Kredit Karma to monitor your credit.

Set Calendar Reminder – For any financial process that you cannot automate. For example, you can set a calendar to check your credit report and score every six to twelve months, pay your taxes, or check to make sure your bills are all paid and your budget is still working.

Set Notifications – Have your banks notify you when your balance drops below a certain level. You can also request your credit card company and other service providers notify you when a future bill is due via text or email.

Use Visuals

Visual aids can help when object permeance makes it hard to remember how much money you have in the bank and to keep you organized.

Don’t go paperless – If you can still get your bills mailed, do it. Getting a paper bill can be a better reminder than an email you may miss. But don’t let your bills pile up. Instead, you need to use the receipt of your bill as the trigger to pay it.

Use colors – Have a dedicated space for your financial paperwork and use color coding to help keep them organized.

Stickers – Use lots of stickers. Put a sticker on your credit card to remind you that it is only for emergencies. Add a sticker on your debit card to remind you to stick to your budget. Or add a sticker of your goals to your credit card to remind you that spending will prevent you from reaching your goals.

Set Alarms – Similar to stickers, alarms can help remind you to pay bills on time or revisit your budget in six months. Use your phone and make sure the reminder pops up and is audible and not easily dismissed.

Visualize Savings – add a paper clip to a chain every time you save $10, $100, or $1,000. Challenge yourself to see how long your chain can get (credit Atomic Habits). Or print or use a whiteboard to create a fundraising thermometer for your savings goals.

Visualize your budget- Use apps that help track what you have spent and provide a visual of your budget.

* Keep your visuals in spaces you frequent, and move them around periodically so that they stay fresh in your head.

Add friction to your spending.

Making it harder to spend your money can help to make impulse purchases harder and help prevent overspending.

Remove credit cards from online accounts – Avoid the temptation to buy by not saving credit cards on online stores like Amazon.

Use Wish List – Put items in your wish list for at least 24 hours before adding them to your cart.

Leave home without it – Don’t bring money, debit, or credit cards when you don’t need them. 

Create a list before you shop – Creating a list and vowing to stick to it can help decrease impulse purchases.

Unsubscribe – Unsubscribe to mailing lists from retailers.

Remove Apps- Remove retail apps from your phone to remove some of the temptation and the ease of access to the online stores.

Some other things to consider

 

You need to create a budget – Spending without a budget to account for all the bills and things you may have a hard time remembering when you get paid is necessary. Use apps or advisors to help you create and stick to your budget. 

Set Specific Goals(Long, short, and micro-term goals) – You will not reach your goals until you have identified them. In addition to long-term goals like retirement, and short-term goals, like creating a budget, you may also benefit from the satisfaction of micro goals. Micro-goals, like spending no more than your allotted grocery budget that week, can help to keep you interested since they are achievable more frequently.

You need an emergency fund – Creating and maintaining an emergency fund is even more critical for folks with ADHD. There are several ways people with ADHD can overspend (voluntarily and involuntarily). Having an emerging fund to draw upon when things come up is critical to ensure you can manage those unexpected expenses.

Ask for help – If going it alone is not working, ask friends and family to help you. They can act as an accountability buddy to help keep you on track. 

Use trusted advisors – Certified Financial Planners are like therapists for you and your money. They will work with you to help you create and execute financial plans that you define and work for you. 

 Manage your credit very carefully – Credit cards can facilitate impulse and overspending. They also require diligence and organization to ensure they don’t spiral out of control. Use the tips above to keep your credit card spending in check and your credit card balances paid.

Be kind to yourself – We all make financial mistakes. Put controls and systems in place, like automation, to help avoid making the same mistake and move on. Shame, self-doubt, anxiety, and depression can cause more financial missteps.

Conclusion 

In conclusion, there are a few things that you can do to manage your money when you have ADHD:

  1. Try to automate your finances as much as possible.
  2. Use Visuals.
  3. Add friction to your spending
  4. Create a budget and stick to it.
  5. Have an emergency fund
  6. Manage credit carefully 
  7. Be kind to yourself and ask for help if you need it.

By following these tips, you can better manage your money and live a more financially stable life with ADHD.

The effects of financial illiteracy

Ripped dollar

The effects of financial illiteracy

Introduction 

Financial illiteracy is a huge problem in the United States. For example, according to a study by the National Financial Educators Council, 60% of Americans cannot answer basic financial literacy questions. This lack of knowledge has real-world consequences. People with low levels of financial literacy are more likely to make poor financial decisions, incur high levels of debt, and have difficulty planning for their future.

This lack of financial literacy is especially harmful to young people.

What is financial literacy?

 

Financial literacy is the ability to understand and use basic financial concepts. This includes understanding things like credit, budgeting and investing.

Financial literacy is crucial because it can help you make better decisions with your money. It can also help you avoid debt and build wealth over time.

Frustrated girl

The causes of financial illiteracy

 

There are a few reasons why many people are financially illiterate. One reason is that personal finance is not taught in schools. As a result, many students graduate from high school without ever taking a money management or investing class.

Another reason for financial illiteracy is that most people do not talk about money. In many families, money can be a taboo topic and thus avoided. This can lead to a lack of discussion about financial matters at home and can carry forward into adulthood and relationships.

Finally, many people are afraid to ask for help regarding their finances. They may be embarrassed about their current situation or feel they should be able to figure it out independently.

The effects of financial illiteracy

 

Financial illiteracy can have detrimental effects on an individual’s future financial situation and overall quality of life. The lack of financial literacy can lead to costly mistakes that can have long-lasting implications for individuals, families, and even entire communities.

Some effects of financial illiteracy include:

  • Struggle with managing debt or savings
  • Delayed or no opportunity for retirement
  • Relying on high-interest credit cards and loans 
  • Lack of understanding of how spending choices now can affect future security.
  • Higher stress levels related to money matters, particularly during economic recessions or downturns
  • Paying higher fees and interest rates 
  • Difficulty coming up with the money to cover an unexpected expense.
  • Inability to pay bills on time.
The Best Books about Financial Literacy by Category

Improving financial literacy

 

There are several ways to improve financial literacy. Here are a few suggestions:

  1. Try learning as much as possible about personal finance using:

2. Keep track of your spending so that you have a better understanding of where your money goes each month.

3. Use your long, medium, and short-term goals to help guide your financial choices whenever possible, even if they seem like something other than the most fun choices.

These resources can help individuals learn about budgeting, investing, and other vital topics.

By improving financial literacy, you can become better equipped to make healthy and productive decisions about your money. This can lead to improved overall financial well-being and greater peace of mind.

Conclusion

 

In conclusion, financial illiteracy has several adverse effects. It can lead to debt and financial stress and even prevent people from achieving their financial goals. Financial literacy is essential for everyone, and it’s something that schools should teach at an early age. It’s never too late to learn, so if you do not feel financially literate, resources are available to help you become more financially savvy.

 

Financial planning with ADHD: Tips to help you get started

Man managing his finances

Financial planning with ADHD | Tips to help you get started

Financial planning is vital for anyone, but especially for people with ADHD, who may have difficulty managing their money effectively. Financial planning is the process of organizing your finances to achieve your financial goals. Once developed, a financial plan will act as your roadmap to help you reach your aspirations. And if done correctly, will also help to put the structure in place to ensure that your spending does not derail your plans and take you off track.

While financial planning is essential for people with ADHD to help them reach their financial goals, often, the symptoms of ADHD can get in the way of developing such a plan. This article will walk through what is involved in creating a financial plan while outlining what tools and tips may help you navigate challenges you may face because of your ADHD.

The other alternative to creating a financial plan on your own is to seek out the help of a certified financial planner. These services can help you develop a plan that is right for you. They can provide the technical expertise to help determine your goals while keeping you on track. All of that while ensuring you are still in control of what you do and how you use the money you make.

But if you choose to go at it alone, here is how to do it.

How Do you Create a Financial Plan?

 

1. Define your future: Goals

The first step in creating a financial plan is to establish your goals. For this step, you need to ask yourself where you want to be in a few years.  

This type of long-term planning can be challenging to focus on or to even begin. A good tip is to use a timer to help keep it interesting. Set your timer to 5 minutes and write down everything you want to do or have in your life. If you feel like you didn’t cover everything, repeat this step using 5-minute intervals to capture all of your aspirations.

While you are going through this exercise, try to think of some micro-term goals -things that you want to achieve within a month or less. Micro-term goals can help to keep you motivated when executing your plan. Since you can reach them quickly, they will help give you a “dopamine hit” which can help you feel successful and hopefully encourage you to stick with your plan.

Once you have your list, set another timer for 5 minutes and quickly categorize everything by how you long you think it should take before you achieve it.  

As someone with ADHD, this type of planning can be very challenging. Here are a few tips to help you get through this step.

  1. Make it visible – Use a visual timer or an “hourglass”.
  2. Put on music – sometimes music can help focus your attention on a task.
  3. Just do it – Sometimes you must accept that you have to do things because they are good for you. This may be one of those times.
  4. Move around – Moving while creating your list of goals can help increase dopamine levels. Take a walk or stand and write on a whiteboard. 
  5. Narrate your ideas – Instead of writing them down, you could record them and use a speech-to-text app to get them into a document you can use later
  6. Rest, Relax and Eat – Make sure you are in a good mental state before starting this task. Going into the process while you are well rested, not hungry, and in a good head-space will increase your chances of success.

2. Assess your current state: Tracking

The next step in creating a financial plan is to assess where you are today. To do this, you will need to understand how much you currently pay for your bills, how much debt you now owe, and how much you spend on yourself for things like food, clothing, and other “discretionary” expenses. 

Tracking expenses can be difficult for anyone. It requires a sustained focus and attention to detail over time. This may be particularly challenging, depending on your particular ADHD symptoms. To help with this step, take advantage of apps and software that can automatically track and compile your spending into categories for you to analyze. 

You can check out this post for a list of Money Management Apps.

Outcome of this step: A detailed list of all your expenses, debts, and how much you currently pay for everything.

Personal financial palnning on a napkin

3. Develop a Plan: Putting it all together

The next step in the process is to look at where you want to go compared to where you currently are financially. Think through the following:

Income:  Determine if your current income and projected future income will be enough to reach your goals. If not, decide how you will increase your income (I.e., Side hustle, improve skills, ask for a raise, find a new job, etc.) If yes, move on to the next step.

Investing: Your long-term goals, like retirement, will likely need more funds than you can contribute from your income alone. Therefore, you will need to develop an investment strategy to help supplement your savings.

Security: What safeguards do you have to ensure you will receive the income you have projected in the last step and not lose the wealth you accumulate.

Options to secure your money:

  • Build an emergency fund. Emergency funds help you manage unforeseen expenses.
  • Keep your money in an insured bank.
  • Purchase insurance to protect your wealth and your income potential (I.e., disability insurance, health insurance, homeowners or renter’s insurance, etc.)

Spending: How do you ensure you spend and save the right amount at the correct times to reach your goals? Build a budget.

Outcomes of this step: 

  • Determining if and how to increase your income if necessary
  • Purchasing insurance to secure your income potential and your wealth
  • A budget that you can stick to.
  • Your plan detailing how you will achieve your goals and manage your spending and saving to reach your objectives. 

4. Execute the plan: Making it all work for you

You now have all the pieces in place. The last step is to live your plan. In your plans, you will identify actions that need to occur—purchasing insurance, increasing your income, and investing for the long term. 

All of these tasks take place now. Additionally, you should now have a weekly or monthly budget that you can use to help you appropriately allocate the money you have coming into your different goals.

This is another stage when apps and automation can play a huge role in helping someone with ADHD reach their goals. 

For more tips on how to manage your money with ADHD, please check How ADHD May Affect Your Money

Conclusion

 

One of the most critical aspects of financial planning is understanding where you want to be financially. Your goals may include saving for retirement, buying a home, or paying off debt. It’s essential to be realistic about what you can achieve and create an achievable plan using your available resources.

As someone with ADHD, this type of planning, organization and focus can be challenging. While it may not keep your interest, it is critically important to help you reach your goals. If you get derailed by any part of the planning process, seek help from friends, family, ADHD coaches, or certified financial planners. Their guidance and support can help to get you back on track.

Financial Chaos to Budgeting Bliss: My review of YNAB

You Need A Budget Logo

From Financial Chaos to Budgeting Bliss: My review of YNAB

As someone who has struggled to manage my finances in the past, I know firsthand the importance of finding a budgeting process that works. With so many options available, it can be overwhelming to choose the right one. After trying several different methods and apps, I’ve found that YNAB (You Need a Budget) stands out as one of the most comprehensive and user-friendly tools out there. In this review, I’ll share my experience using YNAB and explore its key features, benefits, and potential drawbacks.

Getting Started with YNAB

 

When I first started using YNAB, I have to admit that it took me a little while to get the hang of it. At first, the zero-based budgeting concept and the various budget categories were a bit overwhelming. However, the youtube video tutorials and online resources on their site were extremely helpful in getting me up to speed.

The video tutorials provided step-by-step instructions on how to use different features of the app. They were easy to follow, funny, and allowed me to learn at my own pace. I also appreciated that the tutorials covered basic and advanced topics, so I could continue learning and improving how I used the app.

In addition to the video tutorials, YNAB has a ton of online resources available to users. For example, you can access workshops, blogs, podcasts, or videos from the app and website. 

After syncing my accounts to the app, I deleted the first budget I built. Syncing my accounts pulled in too much old data that skewed my numbers. One of the hardest parts of using the app is finding a starting point for when your zero-based budget starts. I would have loved to see a video about just that topic.

Ultimately, I had to build a new budget and decided not to link my accounts to the app. I wanted more control over what was being tracked and budgeted. This was especially helpful since my spouse, and I share accounts, and not all expenses are shared expenses that need to be tracked. 

I found that manually entering transactions was worth the effort to have more control. It allowed me to understand our spending habits better and be more intentional with allocating our money.

Overall, while it took some time to get used to YNAB’s unique approach to budgeting, the video tutorials and online resources made the process much smoother.

Money laid out

Key Features of YNAB

 

One of the key features of YNAB is its ability to help move money from the different spending categories. I like how easy it is to see how much money you have spent (or overspent) in any category. Since it is a zero-based budgeting method, it helps you see exactly what you spend your money on since all expenses must be categorized and accounted for.  

I found this especially useful since it is easy for our family to miss and not plan for irregular expenses. This method helps us better prepare for expenses that pop up only once or twice a year, like kid’s summer camp or car maintenance. 

Another important feature of YNAB is its ability to integrate with your bank and credit card accounts. This means that your transactions will be automatically imported into the app, and you’ll be able to see where your money is going. While I do not use this feature, I see how it can speed up the budgeting process.

The last feature that needs to be mandatory for any budgeting tool is the ability to create custom categories and tags to track specific expenses or goals. Since all budgets are personal, this is a must-have feature in any budgeting app.

Benefits of Using YNAB

 

There are several benefits to using YNAB for budgeting. First, the app helps you stay on track with your finances by giving you a clear picture of your expenses. This can help you identify areas where you may be overspending and adjust your budget accordingly.

Another benefit of YNAB is that it encourages you to prioritize your goals and focus on what’s most important. For example, the app enables you to create and track financial goals, such as paying off debt or saving for a down payment on a house. Seeing a visual indicator as you progress toward your long-term goals can help you stay motivated.

Finally, YNAB’s zero-based budgeting system is designed to help you live within your means and avoid overspending. By allocating every dollar to a specific category, you’ll better understand where your money is going and be less likely to overspend on non-essential items.

A woman smiling as she uses her phone

Potential Drawbacks of YNAB

While YNAB has many benefits, there are also some potential drawbacks. One potential issue is the app’s cost. YNAB requires a monthly or annual subscription, which may only be feasible for some, especially those just starting with budgeting. If you would like a free month, click here.

Another potential drawback of YNAB is that it may take some time to get used to. The app’s zero-based budgeting system can be confusing for those unfamiliar with the concept, and it may take some trial and error to figure out how to allocate your money effectively.

Similarly, I found some reoccurring weekly or bi-weekly payments hard to manage using the app. I found workarounds for these expenses, but I would have liked the app to have more flexibility for payments that are not monthly.

Lastly, YNAB is not a set it an forget it type of budget. So you will need to keep returning to the app to reconcile accounts to ensure you have tracked all your expenses and are accurately assigning each dollar you receive. You may want to reconcile multiple times a week, depending on how many transactions you make. I try only to reconcile once per week, but it can be a long process if it has been a busy week.

Conclusion

 

Overall, YNAB is an excellent budgeting app that offers a wide range of features and benefits. It’s designed to help you take control of your finances, prioritize your spending, and achieve your long-term financial goals. While there are some drawbacks, such as the cost and the learning curve, these are relatively minor compared to the app’s overall usefulness.

I’ve dedicated myself to using the app for a year and will update this post once the year is up, but in the meantime, if you would like to join me in using YNAB, here is a link to receive one free month of YNAB. If you subscribe, I also get a free month (no pressure).

If you’re looking for a user-friendly budgeting app, YNAB is definitely worth considering. Its straightforward interface, powerful features, and helpful guidance make it an excellent tool for anyone looking to take control of their finances and achieve financial wellness.

Does ADHD cause impulse buying?

A person using their card to pay online

Does ADHD cause impulse buying?

Introduction: ADHD and Impulse buying

Impulsivity is a common trait found in people who have ADHD. While this does not mean all people with ADHD always impulse buy, some people with ADHD can be more prone to this habit. 

Why do people with ADHD buy impulsively

 

There is no definitive answer to whether ADHD causes impulse buying, as research on the topic is relatively limited. However, ADHD does affect executive functioning, which controls decision-making, planning, and organization.  

Suppose one’s ability to consider the outcome of their actions is impacted because of ADHD along with their decision-making abilities. In that case, we can see how this combination can lead to a tendency to have impulsive behaviors like making purchases without pausing to consider their long-term effects. 

Therefore it is important for people with ADHD to be aware of this potential tendency and learn how to manage it to avoid costly mistakes.

sad woman with credit card

How To control and avoid Impulse Buying

 

To control impulse buying, it is critical that you first acknowledge your tendency towards this habit. Once you know this, you can start working to control it.

Here are ten tips for how to control impulse buying if you have ADHD:

 
  1. Don’t bring money or means of payment with you if you don’t need to buy anything.
  2. Don’t shop when you are hungry, tired, upset, or angry. 
  3. Put a sticker on your credit or debit card to remind you of your savings goals
  4. Unsubscribe to retail emails. Most are just ads trying to encourage you to buy now.
  5. Create a rule to wait for 24 hrs. before you buy anything. The urge to buy something may fade after some time has passed. 
  6. Use debit instead of credit cards. Credit cards can make it easy to spend more money than you have, whereas debit uses only your money in your account.
  7. If you must use a credit card, use a prepaid credit card like KOHO to ensure you don’t spend more than you have 
  8. Add some friction to your spending. Take credit cards out of online accounts
  9. Remove shopping apps from your phone. 
  10. Make a list before you go shopping. If you know what you need, you’re less likely to buy things on a whim.
a lot of shopping bags

How to stop ADHD Impulse Buying?

If your impulse buying has become a critical problem, it may be time to take more drastic measures.

Remove access to your credit cards. Don’t cancel them if you can avoid it because canceling a credit card will harm your credit score. But give them to a trusted partner or friend so you cannot use them. Or put your credit card into a zip-top bag, then put that bag into a container and freeze it. You will still be able to access your credit card if necessary, but you will have to wait for it to thaw out before you can.

Do what every method works best to remove access to credit cards, including removing them from any auto-fill feature on your devices and taking them out of your online accounts. Credit cards make it too easy to buy impulsivity.

Seek help additional help. In addition to speaking to your doctor, you may need to employ a certified financial planner to help you get your spending in check. They can help you to build your budget, protect your wealth and even advise you to create your allowance if that is the best way to manage your spending.  

You may also want to ask friends and family for their support. With the love and support of the people in your life, they may be able to help you come up with creative solutions to help you better manage your spending.

The most important thing is to seek help as soon as you realize that your impulsive spending is a problem you do not think you can solve on your own. 

ADHD can make some procrastinate or ignore problems and tasks that they do not find interesting. Managing impulsive spending may not be interesting by it is extremely important. Do not delay and seek help as soon as possible.

 

Conclusion

 

So, does ADHD cause impulse buying? While ADHD may not cause impulse buying, it is clear that the symptoms of ADHD do cause some to act impulsively. This increase in impulsive behavior leads to impulse buying.

If you are struggling with impulse buying, it is crucial to seek help. Use the tips above or seek additional support from friends, family, or professionals. Many resources are available to you, and you do not have to suffer in silence.

Why Allowances Are Not Enough to Teach Children Financial Literacy

Parents reading book with their children

Why Allowances Are Not Enough to Teach Children Financial Literacy

Teaching children financial literacy is an essential life skill that can prepare them for a successful future. As mentioned in other posts, allowances are excellent tools to introduce our children to money management. However, while allowances can effectively teach children about money, it’s important to remember that they are not enough on their own. In this blog post, we’ll explore why it’s essential to discuss financial topics with our children.

Why Allowances are Not Enough

 

While an allowance can be a great start to teaching children about money management, it does not thoroughly teach children about the complexities of financial literacy. An allowance alone only provides children with money to manage, but it doesn’t teach them how to manage it, what budgets are for, or how or why we need to save and invest. 

While an allowance can provide your child with opportunities to practice many money management skills and habits, it can not teach what those habits are, why they are essential, or how to maximize their benefits.

The Importance of Discussions

 

Money discussions can introduce children to most financial literacy concepts. Parents and guardians can help children learn how money can be used to achieve short-term and long-term goals. They can also help children understand the importance of saving, investing, and spending wisely. 

Discussions about money can also teach children about the consequences of financial decisions. Allowances allow children to experiment with financial decisions, but children may not understand the consequences of their actions without guidance. Discussions about money can help children understand the effects of their financial decisions on their future.

Living Our Values Everyday

Teaching Financial Values

 

Discussions about money can help children understand their families’ financial values and priorities. Financial values are an important legacy to pass down to your kids. For example, how you give back to your community or the value you place on education can all be conveyed with money talks. Similarly, parents can use conversations to teach their children the importance of paying bills on time, creating a budget, and saving for the future.

 

Conclusion

While allowances are a good start, discussions about money and financial topics are essential to thoroughly teaching children financial literacy. Parents should take the time to have regular discussions with their children about money and lead by example by demonstrating good financial habits themselves. By doing so, parents can help their children build a strong foundation for a successful financial future.